Saw a yellow and black bird, oriole-sized, that I haven't seen before.

by Sharon
(Hayward, CA, USA)

The male and its mate flew across our back yard a couple of times. The bird was brilliant yellow with black wings, about the size of a blackbird or oriole. I was unable to see the beak shape, so don't know if it was an insect or seed-eater.


I haven't seen the bird before in our Hayward, CA area in our 21-years' residence. There appeared to be no black on the male's head. The wings and possibly the tail were black. It was brilliant yellow in early July, long after the much smaller goldfinches have shed their mating plumage. The female could have been a dull yellow, buff, or brown. I didn't see her clearly. I believe she may have had a pale yellow or buff head, and a brown body.


Comment:
By your description it sounds like Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Are there marshes nearby? That's where they like to live. They have a harsh strange call that has nothing pretty about it.
susan

Comments for Saw a yellow and black bird, oriole-sized, that I haven't seen before.

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Jul 30, 2012
Yellow and black bird
by: Anonymous

It sounds like a Bullocks Oriole to me. The male is brillant orange with black wings and tail and a black streak running from beak through eye.

Jul 10, 2012
Thanks for the thought...
by: Sharon

Thanks for the thought, responder. The bird's coloring wasn't like a photo I came across of the yellow-headed blackbird. We do have a marshy area nearby, so that is a possibility.

Is there a color variant that is almost all yellow? In my enhanced recollection (meaning what I think I recall, rather than what I for sure saw), only the bird's wings and tail were black. The rest of the bird was brilliant--really brilliant--yellow. The black tail is a likely, rather than a for sure, recollection. The brilliant yellow is a sure recollection, since I saw it in peripheral vision while I was reading.

Thanks so much for your input!

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